Press Release: ENIL Publishes Report on the Barriers to Independent Living across the Globe

Press Release: ENIL Publishes Report on the Barriers to Independent Living across the Globe

The European Network on Independent Living – ENIL is launching its latest contribution to improved understanding of the right to live independently in the community, set out in Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The report, entitled “Addressing Barriers to Independent Living across the Globe”, comes as the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) prepares to adopt a General Comment on Article 19 CRPD this August.

The report discusses the challenges related to the lack of understanding of Article 19. It addresses concerns related to the universal applicability of the independent living concept, demonstrating that Article 19 can work anywhere in the world, regardless of cultural differences. Other challenges to independent living and inclusion in community, discussed in the report, include negative attitudes and stigma towards disabled people, the lack of support to families, prevalence of institutional services, barriers in community support services and mainstream services, and barriers concerning other CRPD provisions, which impact on the implementation of Article 19.

The report addresses some of the more difficult questions, such as whether disabled people can choose to live in an institution, whether group homes are in line with Article 19, and how to start the process of deinstitutionalisation.

The recommendations, outlined in the report, were shared with the CRPD Committee in March, to assist with the drafting of the General Comment. They can be used by the Governments and civil society organisations, alongside the General Comment on Article 19, to identify actions needed to implement Article 19 CRPD.

ENIL will present the report at a roundtable in Brussels at the end of August, to coincide with the 18th Session of the CRPD Committee in Geneva. If you are interested in attending, please e-mail Lilia Angelova Mladenova at

The drafting and publication of the report were made possible thanks to generous support by the Open Society Foundations – Mental Health Initiative.

Download the report HERE.


ann kennedy

June 28, 2017, 1:48 pm

as a person with a disability living in the Republic of Ireland (Eire) i have no rights. in the constitution nor in Law do i have the right to healthcare. In the constitution, in Law and in European Law i have no rights equal to that of all the other people in Europe who have vowed for european co-operation on all levels.
why do i fear living in Ireland with no rights whatsoever?
i am 64, i wish to remain firmly in the community. the fight for even a small bit of medical help, appliances and a decency which many enjoy worldwide we do not here.
we have a fabulous country, we have a rotten healthcare system and an even worse human rights obligations. i feel obliterated even though i understand what is happening in europe

Dilyana Deneva

June 29, 2017, 9:59 am

Dear Ann,
It is sad to read about your current living situation in Ireland. I hope that you will find a way to contribute to the independent living activists’ fight in your country and will achieve results. If you need help in finding fellows in Ireland, committed to the IL cause, don’t hesitate to contact ENIL at

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